PSA, NTU and Chiyoda kick start hydrogen transport and storage trial

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NTU Singapore, PSA Singapore and Chiyoda Japan have launched a dehydrogenation demonstration for green heavy vehicles at Pasir Panjang Terminal.

Terminal operator PSA Singapore has joined forces with compatriot Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) and Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation to test how hydrogen can be transported and stored as methylcyclohexane (MCH).

This allows hydrogen to be stored in a liquid form at ambient temperature before gaseous hydrogen is extracted for use as a clean fuel for horizontal transportation in the port.

As part of the collaboration, PSA has built and began operating the first hydrogen refuelling station and provided a hydrogen fuel cell electric prime mover at Pasir Panjang Terminal in Singapore.

The testbed follows successful laboratory proof-of-concept (PoC) experiments led by NTU to enable efficient and economical transport of hydrogen.

As Singapore has no natural resources, it is reliant on importing hydrogen that can be transported in liquid form through liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC), which can be used for long-term storage and long-distance transportation of hydrogen under ambient conditions.

The trial at PSA’s Pasir Panjang Terminal is scheduled to run until mid-2025. It aims to validate how transported LOHC can be stored in an industrial setting, and subsequently hydrogenated. The extracted hydrogen can be used as a fuel for refuelling stations on-site.

The trial uses imported methylcyclohexane at the terminal’s decentralised dehydrogenation skids.

“NTU researchers have been working closely with partners to develop better catalysts and efficient reactors for extracting hydrogen, and the promising success of laboratory trials have led to real-world tests. Liquid organic hydrogen carrier technology is a promising solution to safely transport hydrogen, enabling green and sustainable technologies. The pilot-scale trials at Pasir Panjang Terminal with our key partners are a vital next step in this industry collaboration, in which we envision a future with alternative sources of energy that are reliable and economical,” said Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU Vice President (Industry).

“In collaboration with like-minded industry partners, we are excited to commission the first hydrogen refuelling facility in the port, a significant step forward in our efforts to develop a hydrogen refuelling ecosystem in Singapore,” said Nelson Quek, Regional CEO Southeast Asia, PSA International.

Chiyoda provides technical expertise through SPERA HydrogenTM, its proprietary technology that uses dehydrogenation catalysts to extract hydrogen from MCH.

The collaboration is funded by the Low-Carbon Energy Research Funding Initiative (LCER FI), which was started by the Singapore Government to support research, development, and demonstration projects on low-carbon energy technology solutions.

Under the LCER FI, NTU is leading R&D of the next-generation dehydrogenation catalyst that improves upon the application of Chiyoda’s proprietary dehydrogenation catalyst technology. NTU has also developed a new reactor that extracts hydrogen from LOHCs in an industry-academia collaboration with Chiyoda.

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